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Subject: The Straight Dope on Monopoly rss

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john guthrie
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i don't see this posted elsewhere, but today's The Straight Dope answers the question: Was Monopoly originally meant to teach people about the evils of capitalism?

http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/2986/was-monopoly-o...
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Benjamin Maggi
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Everything I needed to learn about Monopoly I got from the television show Cheers!

Cheers, Season 8, Episode 10: "The Art of the Steal"

Plot: Hoping to teach Woody (Woody Harrelson) how to manage his finances, the Cheers gang gets wrapped up in a hot-and-heavy game of Monopoly.

Setting: Norm, Cliff, Woody, and Frasier are sitting around the table playing a cobbled together set of Monopoly featuring such things as large Foam dice in place of regular dice...

Woody: "That will be $1300 and your "Get out of Jail Free" card. Enjoy your stay at Boyd's on Boardwalk"

Norm: "Wait, Wait Woody. I just realized something. Anytime anybody deposits any money in the bank you put it with your own."

Woody: [guilty look on his face]: "Prove it Peterson."

Frasier: "I don't believe it. I have sat here for the last five hours watching each of you lie, steal, and cheat his way to a small fortune while I sit here with five dollars, St, James Place, and this stupid picture of Uncle Wiggly. [throws his money and cards on the table] You people have no scruples or moral standards whatsoever. What was the purpose of this game after all?"

Norm: [embarrassed look on face] "Just trying to teach Woody the nature of economics."

Frasier: "Oh, well then Bravo."

Here is a clip (2 minutes, 10 seconds into it)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJO_yEuQkGM&feature=related
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Dr Caligari
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Well, to be accurate, it was not so much about the evils of capitalism as it was about the evils of the tax system at the turn of the previous century (that would be the turn of the 19th to the 20th), as FlyingArrow has explained in the forum for The Landlord's Game.

The Landlord's Game is the original that led to Monopoly, and you can read about its connection to Monopoly in this transcript from an episode of The History Detectives.
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Richard Irving
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Actually it doesn't answer the question--more accurately, it missed an important period of Monopoly's development.

The gmae that became Monopoly was very much a "folk game" from 1904. It was published, it was transmitted by word of mouth from group to group and played with home made components, which included economic student in universities. During this period, now unknown players, either intentionally or by accident, added the features that make "Monopoly" the game it is today: increasing rent through houses and hotels, bankrupting other players as a goal, Free Parking jackpot, etc.

Multiple Monopoly-like games were published during this period--usually with street names from local towns. Darrow was the most successful, learning the game from a friend of his wife based on Atlantic City (where he repeated the misspelling of "Merven Gardens"). He sold it out so quickly that Parkers Brothers had to play real life Monopoly, buying the rights to the game and realizing the earlier version, buying out as many of the earlier games as possible,
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Robert Ridgeway
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grafpoo wrote:
Was Monopoly originally meant to teach people about the evils of capitalism?

As a simulation, Monopoly never gets boring. Sadly, it has lost this fundamental intent [purposely?] with all the spin-off versions (can you imagine an NFL version of "Class Struggle"?)....
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Ron Parker
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rri1 wrote:
During this period, now unknown players, either intentionally or by accident, added the features that make "Monopoly" the game it is today: increasing rent through houses and hotels, bankrupting other players as a goal, Free Parking jackpot, etc.


Is this where I'm supposed to say "obvious troll is obvious"? I'm not as up on my intertubes memeage as the hip youngsters of today.
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Benjamin Maggi
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parkrrrr wrote:
rri1 wrote:
During this period, now unknown players, either intentionally or by accident, added the features that make "Monopoly" the game it is today: increasing rent through houses and hotels, bankrupting other players as a goal, Free Parking jackpot, etc.


Is this where I'm supposed to say "obvious troll is obvious"? I'm not as up on my intertubes memeage as the hip youngsters of today.


I am not sure what the second part of your comment means, but the referenced quote by RRi1 doesn't appear to be trolling to me.
 
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Ron Parker
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Benjamin Maggi wrote:
parkrrrr wrote:
rri1 wrote:
During this period, now unknown players, either intentionally or by accident, added the features that make "Monopoly" the game it is today: increasing rent through houses and hotels, bankrupting other players as a goal, Free Parking jackpot, etc.


Is this where I'm supposed to say "obvious troll is obvious"? I'm not as up on my intertubes memeage as the hip youngsters of today.


I am not sure what the second part of your comment means, but the referenced quote by RRi1 doesn't appear to be trolling to me.


There is no free parking jackpot in Monopoly. This is a commonly mentioned thing in the forums here, whenever the subject of Monopoly comes up. So it's not one of the features that make Monopoly the game it is today.

However, I wasn't even halfway serious, so I suppose I should have added more smileys.
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Benjamin Maggi
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parkrrrr wrote:
There is no free parking jackpot in Monopoly. This is a commonly mentioned thing in the forums here, whenever the subject of Monopoly comes up. So it's not one of the features that make Monopoly the game it is today.


Even though it isn't in the rules nor ever has been, it is in minds of the public and I would argue is one of the things that makes Monopoly what it is today. Ask anyone about the rules of Monopoly or what they like best about it and I bet you will get answers that mention it. Does it stink for those of us who like to play correctly? Yes, but it is what it is.

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Dave VanderArk
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parkrrrr wrote:
Benjamin Maggi wrote:
parkrrrr wrote:
rri1 wrote:
During this period, now unknown players, either intentionally or by accident, added the features that make "Monopoly" the game it is today: increasing rent through houses and hotels, bankrupting other players as a goal, Free Parking jackpot, etc.


Is this where I'm supposed to say "obvious troll is obvious"? I'm not as up on my intertubes memeage as the hip youngsters of today.


I am not sure what the second part of your comment means, but the referenced quote by RRi1 doesn't appear to be trolling to me.


There is no free parking jackpot in Monopoly. This is a commonly mentioned thing in the forums here, whenever the subject of Monopoly comes up. So it's not one of the features that make Monopoly the game it is today.

However, I wasn't even halfway serious, so I suppose I should have added more smileys.


Richard has been an avid gamer and member of the online community since before the Geek was around. He knows there is not supposed to be a free parking jackpot. He wasn't trolling, he was referring to the way the game is commonly played, not the actual rules of the game. For the vast majority of people who play Monopoly, free parking jackpots, double salary when you land on Go by exact count, and other house rules ARE features that make Monopoly the game it is today.
 
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Ron Parker
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So, then, what y'all are saying, in essence, is that the answer to my question is "no." Okay then.
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Dave VanderArk
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parkrrrr wrote:
So, then, what y'all are saying, in essence, is that the answer to my question is "no." Okay then.

Yup!

 
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Benjamin Maggi wrote:
parkrrrr wrote:
There is no free parking jackpot in Monopoly. This is a commonly mentioned thing in the forums here, whenever the subject of Monopoly comes up. So it's not one of the features that make Monopoly the game it is today.


Even though it isn't in the rules nor ever has been, it is in minds of the public and I would argue is one of the things that makes Monopoly what it is today. Ask anyone about the rules of Monopoly or what they like best about it and I bet you will get answers that mention it. Does it stink for those of us who like to play correctly? Yes, but it is what it is.



I find it amusing how tenaciously people hold onto that rule,
and then end up liking the game better without it.

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